FSM, US Hold Annual Consultation Meeting On Yap

Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

News Release

FSM Information Services Colonia, Yap, FSM

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The 2013 Joint Committee Meeting or JCM between the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and the United States of America was held here on Nov. 19, 2013. The JCM is an annual consultation between the FSM and the U.S. on issues of mutual interest under Title III of their Compact of Free Association relating to security and defense obligations.

Prior to the JCM, on the 17th of November, both delegations were invited to participate in a traditional ceremony, hosted by Larry Raigetal, a founder and coordinator of Waa’gey, a non-profit organization aiming to preserve the cultural and traditional practices of the people of the outer islands of Yap. The ceremony ended with an invitation by Raigetal to a canoe sailing in the Colonia harbor, which some members of the delegations accepted including Ambassador Asterio Takesy as the master navigator.

On the 18th, the FSM and U.S. delegations paid a courtesy call on Lt. Gov. Anthony Tareg who welcomed and thanked them for choosing Yap as venue of the JCM.

He also conveyed the apologies of Gov. Sebastian Anefal who was away on overseas meetings relating to the World Bank’s fiber optic marine cable proposal.

Thereafter, both delegations went on a tour of the Construction Civic Action Detail’s or CCAD project sites in different locations in Yap. The FSM delegation members were pleased in witnessing the good works at the schools. The tour of the CCAD projects in Yap was the primary reason to convene the JCM in Yap to complement the CCAD program.

On the 19th of November, both delegations reconvened in the Yap State Hospital’s conference room for the official opening of the JCM, where FSM Ambassador Takesy facilitated the proceedings.

FSM Secretary of Foreign Affairs Lorin S. Robert delivered a statement thanking the leadership and people of Yap on behalf of FSM President Manny Mori and the leadership of the national government for being the host state of the JCM.

He underscored the central importance of the Title III of the Compact with the U.S. government and pointed out that while the current Amended Compact has just reached its mid-point, Title III under the original Compact has now reached its 27th year during which the two sides have enjoyed close working relationship.

He went on to convey his best wishes to the U.S. delegation.

U.S. Ambassador Dorothea Marie Rosen reciprocated by expressing her appreciation to all the participating officials at the JCM from both sides.

She pointed out that Title III of the Amended Compact mandates the U.S. to defend the FSM as if it is one of the 50 states of the United States of America, the highest defense commitment made by the U.S. government.

Rosen also highlighted some of the recent engagements between the U.S. and the FSM since the last JCM in Hawaii such as the CCAD and Humanitarian Assistance-FSM or HAFSM programs among others that have been carried out successfully in Yap, Pohnpei and Kosrae.

The JCM completed its agenda ahead of schedule and reached agreement on most of the items with the ship-rider issue yet to be resolved, as information from the U.S. side is still forthcoming. The meeting agreed to a matrix of where issues were being monitored for completion.

The FSM delegation members to the 2013 JCM were Secretary Lorin S. Robert, Department of Foreign Affairs, as the head of delegation; Secretary April Dawn Skilling, Department of Justice; Asterio Takesy, FSM ambassador to the U.S.; Assistant Secretary Leo Lokopwe, Department of Transportation, Communications and Infrastructure; Consul General Robert Ruecho, FSM Consulate Office on Guam; Chief of Staff Leo Falcam Jr., FSM president’s office; Lt. Gov. Marcelo Peterson, Pohnpei state; members of the Yap State Legislature; and other officials from the national and Yap state governments.

Representing the U.S. government were Dorothea Maria Rosen, U.S. ambassador to the FSM; Rear Adm. Tilghman Payne, U.S. Defense Representative to FSM; Capt. Casey White, Commander Coast Guard Sector-Guam; Deputy Chief Ron McNeill, South Asia and Oceania Policy Division, U.S. Pacific Command, senior adviser Roy Tsutsui, U.S. Defense Representative Political-Military Affairs; and other officials from the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security and the U.S. Embassy in the FSM.

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